Linking EU Climate and Energy Policies

Linking EU Climate and Energy Policies

Decision-making, Implementation and Reform

New Horizons in Environmental Politics series

Jon Birger Skjærseth, Per Ove Eikeland, Lars H. Gulbrandsen and Torbjørg Jevnaker

Based on an innovative theoretical framework combining theories of EU policy making, negotiation and implementation, this comprehensive book examines EU climate and energy policies from the early 1990s until the adoption of new policies for 2030. The authors investigate how the linking of climate and energy concerns in policy packages has facilitated agreement among EU leaders with very different policy ambitions. Employing in-depth studies from a diverse range of energy-economic countries, the book also explores the impact of the implementation of policies on the climate and energy policy framework and the Energy Union initiative.

Chapter 2: Analytical framework

Jon Birger Skjærseth and Per Ove Eikeland

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental politics and policy, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy


Here the authors outline the analytical framework that guides their empirical enquiry into how and why the EU has been able to initiate, decide, implement and reform increasingly ambitious climate/energy targets and policies. Implementation is affected by domestic politics and the content of the EU policies that were adopted in the first place. Domestic implementation experiences of short-term policies are also likely to affect national positions on new long-term policies. Various theory strands are combined – including negotiation theory on issue-linkages and theories of EU policymaking and implementation – to examine the whole policy-cycle. The starting point is the following paradox: EU climate policy has come close to the positions of the ‘most ambitious’ pivotal actors, even when the decisions have been adopted by unanimity. One compelling explanation can be found in theories on issue-linkage: that agreement can be reached by combining different issues in a policy package. Theories of EU integration and policymaking are also needed to explain how policies developed in the first place. Here, two approaches are applied: Liberal Intergovernmentalism and Multi-level Governance . The chapter also explores how international events and regimes external to the EU can influence the development, implementation and reform of EU policies.

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